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Old 13.02.2020, 16:17
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Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

I remember when arriving in Zürich that I was asked if my spouse was "gainfully employed". Thankfully, they were employed first by a foreign, then by a Swiss company. However, my spouse's contract will be ending, and they will likely be employed for some period of time while finding the next gig.

Am I correct that if they are unemployed I am entitled to a reduction in my taxes as the single earner? I realize this is just a few hundred a month, but everything helps.

If so, whom do I contact about making this update? I assume part of "Sadt Zürich", but which department?

Thank you in advance for any guidance.
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Old 13.02.2020, 16:20
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

likely be UNemployed*
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Old 13.02.2020, 16:31
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

Ask your employer.

Tom
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Old 13.02.2020, 17:31
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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I remember when arriving in Zürich that I was asked if my spouse was "gainfully employed". Thankfully, they were employed first by a foreign, then by a Swiss company. However, my spouse's contract will be ending, and they will likely be employed for some period of time while finding the next gig.

Am I correct that if they are unemployed I am entitled to a reduction in my taxes as the single earner? I realize this is just a few hundred a month, but everything helps.

If so, whom do I contact about making this update? I assume part of "Sadt Zürich", but which department?

Thank you in advance for any guidance.

Keep in mind though that unemployment benefits are taxed as income, so it may not be a few hundred a month...
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Old 13.02.2020, 21:26
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

I didn't have a job for the first several years we lived here, and we didn't get a special tax deduction just because I wasn't working...
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Old 13.02.2020, 21:41
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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I remember when arriving in Zürich that I was asked if my spouse was "gainfully employed". Thankfully, they were employed first by a foreign, then by a Swiss company. However, my spouse's contract will be ending, and they will likely be employed for some period of time while finding the next gig.

Am I correct that if they are unemployed I am entitled to a reduction in my taxes as the single earner? I realize this is just a few hundred a month, but everything helps.

If so, whom do I contact about making this update? I assume part of "Sadt Zürich", but which department?

Thank you in advance for any guidance.
I don't understand this question.
If you hand in a tax declaration, the income will be lower next time (unemployment benefits are taxed as already mentioned).
If you have a B permit, each of you have their own tax-at-source deduction, no?
So why do you expect a deduction? I'm seriously asking.
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Old 13.02.2020, 22:35
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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I didn't have a job for the first several years we lived here, and we didn't get a special tax deduction just because I wasn't working...
It's not a tax deduction, it is the the withholding tax is bases on the joint income and if one loose a job the withholding rate comes down.
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:00
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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It's not a tax deduction, it is the the withholding tax is bases on the joint income and if one loose a job the withholding rate comes down.
I said reduction, not deduction. But, yes this is what I'm referring to. According to Tom I speak with my employer about lowering my withholding so I'll try that.

My spouse unfortunately worked 11 months for a Swiss company so is not eligible to RAV as I understand it. They are looking like crazy for something else but they don't speak German and have a niche background, so it may take quite some time.
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:17
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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I said reduction, not deduction. But, yes this is what I'm referring to. According to Tom I speak with my employer about lowering my withholding so I'll try that.

My spouse unfortunately worked 11 months for a Swiss company so is not eligible to RAV as I understand it. They are looking like crazy for something else but they don't speak German and have a niche background, so it may take quite some time.
Did you wife work anywhere in the EU in the previous 13 months? 12 months work in the last 24 months does not have to be in CH, to be eligible for a payout.

Alliteratively doing ANY temporary job for 1 month would entitle her for benefits, that needs to be done asap as payout is based on average earnings over last 6 or 12 months
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:19
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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I said reduction, not deduction. But, yes this is what I'm referring to. According to Tom I speak with my employer about lowering my withholding so I'll try that.

My spouse unfortunately worked 11 months for a Swiss company so is not eligible to RAV as I understand it. They are looking like crazy for something else but they don't speak German and have a niche background, so it may take quite some time.

If your spouse worked in an EU/EFTA country prior to coming to CH, s/he should request a PD U1 form from the previous country evidencing this work. This document is then included with the Swiss Application for Unemployment Compensation and could make her/him eligible for Swiss unemployment compensation. Your local RAV office could provide more details.
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:21
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

Unfortunately we are from the US, and their previous employer was from the US.

Thanks anyways.
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:32
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

As Tom mentions above, talk to your employer, specifically, about changing your source tax tariff classification from Tariff C to B. Please see this source tax guide for Ct. Zurich for further information (English):

https://www.steueramt.zh.ch/dam/fina...t_qst15_en.pdf
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Old 14.02.2020, 08:33
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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As Tom mentions above, talk to your employer, specifically, about changing your source tax tariff classification from Tariff C to B. Please see this source tax guide for Ct. Zurich for further information (English):

https://www.steueramt.zh.ch/dam/fina...t_qst15_en.pdf
Thank you—super helpful!
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Old 16.02.2020, 15:54
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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Alliteratively doing ANY temporary job for 1 month would entitle her for benefits, that needs to be done asap as payout is based on average earnings over last 6 or 12 months
One follow-up question regarding this part.

Assuming they are able to find a temporary job, is it still considered "quitting" if they stop after a month and are offered a long temporary contract? I know from reading here that RAV is easier if you were laid off or fired.

Second, if they can only find part-time employment, how is this valued relative to full-time? For instance, if they were to become a driver/courier but weren't able to get 100%. My understanding is that it's just the average of past 6 months, and that this 6th month is just averaged in regardless of hours worked—is that right? But do *all* jobs pay into RAV, including hourly/temp work?

Finally, given that you are supposed to work 12 months to be eligible for RAV, does working this 12th month below 100% 'count' as a month? Or will they have to work the temporary job until they reach the hour-equivalent of 12 months.

As a reminder, they have worked the previous 11 months at 100%.
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Old 16.02.2020, 17:08
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Re: Tax reduction when spouse becomes unemployed

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One follow-up question regarding this part.

Assuming they are able to find a temporary job, is it still considered "quitting" if they stop after a month and are offered a long temporary contract? I know from reading here that RAV is easier if you were laid off or fired.

Second, if they can only find part-time employment, how is this valued relative to full-time? For instance, if they were to become a driver/courier but weren't able to get 100%. My understanding is that it's just the average of past 6 months, and that this 6th month is just averaged in regardless of hours worked—is that right? But do *all* jobs pay into RAV, including hourly/temp work?

Finally, given that you are supposed to work 12 months to be eligible for RAV, does working this 12th month below 100% 'count' as a month? Or will they have to work the temporary job until they reach the hour-equivalent of 12 months.

As a reminder, they have worked the previous 11 months at 100%.
Don't ask for a longer term contract .........

Average earnings over the last 6 or the last 12 months if that is better, it will be if the temporary job pays less.

2 months of 50% would would carry the same weight as 1 month of 100%, calculation over 12 months based on money earned during those 12 months.
I often worked between 5-10 days a month freelance & it was always enough to count as 18 months working in 24 months as the day rate was high. 7 days counted as 100% as there was no insurance payout as I was above 70% of the insured salary.
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